Payne takes pleasure from strong start to the season

Since bursting onto the scene at the start of last season he’s been touted as a star of the future for Sydney FC, and heading into his second year in Sky Blue, Chris Payne is determined to become a regular fixture in first grade during the coming Hyundai A-League campaign.


Since bursting onto the scene at the start of last season he-s been touted as a star of the future for Sydney FC, and heading into his second year in Sky Blue, Chris Payne is determined to become a regular fixture in first grade during the coming Hyundai A-League campaign.

Payne was one of the standouts in Sydney-s trial win over the Sydney Tigers last Wednesday, and with his form improving each week, he-s excited about the new season.

“Last year I wasn-t here for the pre season so I missed a lot,” said the 18-year old. “This year I-ve been here from the start, I-m playing with more confidence and I-m happy where I am at the moment.”

After getting his first opportunity in last season-s opening round against the Melbourne Victory at the Sydney Football Stadium, Payne spent most of 2008/09 in the National Youth League. The young striker was an integral part of Sydney-s Championship winning side but is looking forward to more first team football.

“It didn-t really pan out exactly how I-d hoped, the first season, but it was good to get a bit of experience,” he explained. “My contract finishes at the end of the season so hopefully I-ll have a good year.”

Payne will get his next chance to impress Head Coach, Vitezslav Lavicka when the Sky Blues travel to Asquith tomorrow night for a trial against State Super League side, the Northern Tigers.

The term ‘friendly- will take on added meaning for the teenager, who played with several members of the Tigers- team as a junior, but it won-t affect his approach to the game.

“I played with most of the boys we-re playing on Wednesday at Manly in Under 16s,” said Payne. “You-ve got mates out there but you take every game the same. I-ll be going out to do my best for the team and hopefully we can keep improving.”

Sydney FC and the Northern Tigers will meet at Mills Park, Asquith tomorrow (Wednesday) night, with the match kicking off at 7:30pm.

Visit the Northern Tigers website for more information or to purchase tickets for the game.